To rule is easy, to govern difficult. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Today I provide independent commentary about the following items for this edition of The Wednesday Read:
- Spicer & Hitler
- Trump, Jr. & Gianforte
- MT U.S. Senate 2018
- Daines & FEMA
- Billings Gazette – Pro Gas Tax Increase
- Petrini & Friends
Spicer & Hitler:
In just a few words, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer put himself ahead of Pepsi and United Airlines in having the worst week – and it was only Tuesday.
When talking about Syria and the use of chemicals on their people, Spicer told the press at the White House briefing, “You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”
In a few minutes, Twitter went wild and Spicer was asked to clarify his remarks. He responded with:
I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no — he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing, I mean, there was clearly — I understand your point, thank you.
Then he kept digging:
There was not — he brought them into the Holocaust center, I understand that. But I’m saying in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down to innocent — into the middle of towns. It was brought — so the use of it — I appreciate the clarification there.
Several people called for Spicer to be fired. Later in the day, after trying several times to clarify his remarks, Spicer apologized:
“Frankly, I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which frankly there is no comparison,” Spicer said during an interview on CNN. “For that I apologize, it was a mistake to do that.”
The White House Press Briefing is the best show on daytime television…
Trump, Jr. & Gianforte:
Last night Greg Gianforte, Republican candidate for U.S. House, announced that Donald J. Trump, Jr., will be in Montana to campaign for him in the following locations:
- April 21st: 1:30 p.m. Kalispell
- April 21st: 4:00 p.m. Hamilton
- April 21st: 7:00 p.m. Billings
- April 22nd: 7:00 p.m. Bozeman
Tickets start at $35 per person or $50 per couple.
MT U.S. Senate 2018:
Montana’s senior U.S. Senator, Democrat Jon Tester, has his first announced opponent for the 2018 U.S. Senate race.
Republican State Senator Albert Olszewski of Kalispell told Lee Newspapers he was running for the seat. You can read the story HERE.
I don’t think Olszewski can be competitive against Tester. If Attorney General Tim Fox runs, he would be more competitive, but I’ve already said (twice) that Fox can’t beat Tester.
Daines & FEMA:
U.S. Senator Steve Daines recently sent a press release where he urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to hold one of its tribal listening sessions in Montana as part of the process of updating its tribal consultation policy.
Most Montanans would like to see Daines hold a listening session of his own in Montana…
Billings Gazette – Pro Gas Tax Increase:
The editorial board of the Billings Gazette has decided that the Montana Legislature should increase the state gas tax by 8 cents per gallon.
Their editorial is titled, “Gazette opinion: Invest 8 cents for Montana highway safety.”
They give some reasons for supporting it and use some scare tactics, like saying Montana has structurally deficient or obsolete bridges, and we have poor road conditions.
The Gazette also wants us to look at it as an investment. I wonder how I should look at all the other taxes I pay.
The bottom line is I think we already pay too much in fuel taxes (both state and federal). I’d like to see what the state and feds do receive be used a little more wisely and for them to make some cuts in the bloated transportation departments.
Petrini & Friends:
Last week it was revealed by the Great Falls Tribune that Don Petrini, who is running for the Great Falls (MT) School Board, had posted photos on his Facebook page depicting former President Barack Obama and his wife Michele as apes. He had several other posts that were just as tasteless and he defended many of them on his Facebook page.
I thought it was interesting to see who Petrini has as “friends” on his Facebook page. It did not appear he lost many friends over his remarks. As of yesterday, he has over 400 friends ranging from former and current elected officials, business owners, an attorney, a candidate, members of the press, and several members of the far-right crowd.
I’m sure that does not mean that they all agree with Petrini. Maybe they don’t know how to “unfriend” someone on Facebook or maybe they like to watch a train wreck. It makes me wonder how nasty someone must be to be unfriended by some people on Facebook…